To Yoshida Kenko (first letter)

Dear Yoshida,
If I could visit with you now it wouldn’t be for business.  I know you’d appreciate that, but I’m not sure what you’d make of this letter.  It has an agenda beyond the moment.
I’ll try to express my gratitude anyway.  Thank goodness you took the trouble to write your thoughts down.  They’re intimately present in my life despite the absurd amounts of time, space and incomprehensible difference between us.  Your words are indifferently insightful.  They reach across the living and the dead.
I could never waste your time chatting.  I’d tell you if I didn’t care about something you were talking about.  I’d do it for the dignity found in acceptance.  I know you’d like that too.
I’d also do it because I want our understanding to be embodied.  I long for such an instance — an unmediated connection defying interpretation — but is it ever really needed?  You’re after my heart friend.  Nothing needs to be done.
If beauty can only exist within the ephemeral nature of life, is your work triumphantly ugly?  Perhaps this might only seem to be the case.  Your words can still collapse one day, alongside the entirety of memory, art, culture and learning (in all their variance and possibility).
If permanence is illusory, you must be beautiful too.
jeremy